44 Fierce Girls Who Show Gender Stereotypes Are Meant To Be Shattered

This is what it looks like to break the mold.
A look at the many ways girls are breaking the mold, each and every day.
Elise Schreier/Laura Kine/Lori Grow
A look at the many ways girls are breaking the mold, each and every day.

An earlier version of this story was published in September 2017.

We at HuffPost Parenting value a girl’s ability to be multidimensional and to be passionate about what she loves, whether that means adoring princesses, loving dinosaurs, worshipping superheroes or all of the above.

We asked members of our parenting community to send in photos of their daughters proving that girls are more than what’s often marketed to them in the toy aisle and what’s demonstrated to them through sometimes limiting societal norms.

Here are 44 photos of girls who want nothing to do with gender stereotypes:

Jenifer Kasten
"My 11-year-old daughter; she's strong and tough and proud!"
Joyelle Morris
"My girls love science and have so much fun with our experiments!"
Dana White
"My 11-year-old daughter fencing with her coach. She is strong, fierce and competes in a sport dominated by boys. I am so amazed by her."
Mallory Asche
"My little golfer girl has a great swing at 3 years old! She sinks putts left and right, and wants to hit her drives as far as Mommy and Daddy someday!"
Marla Fasano
"My 5-year-old loves to skateboard."
Aimee Nance
"We are a family of four who live on a sailboat currently in the South Pacific. Our daughters know more about how to fish than most grown men. They're keen on which lures to use, line to put out, how to properly gaff a fish (go for the eyeball) and how to 'nicely' kill a fish. Pictured here is their double hook up on the way to the Cook Islands. Our youngest daughter doesn't look too thrilled as her fish had just slapped her in the face. I love watching them give tips and advice to 'real' fishermen at port who have heard about their success. Teach your daughters to fish and they will provide."
Bre Thurston
"Because girls want to be astronauts, too! Got this on the 'boy' costume rack at Costco...sigh."
Nicole Fleck McKinney
"I have a daughter that does both and am proud of her for being able to be a tomboy when she wants or a girly girl."
"My daughter is 4 now and has always broken the stereotypes. She loves superheroes and was Spider-Man for Halloween (muscles and all). Her favorite color is green and her snuggle buddy is Hulk."
Brittany Nick
"I love coaching my 7-year-old daughter through lifting with her own child-sized barbell."
Shannon VanCoughnett
"My first-grader. The only girl on her Pop Warner team. She's my hero."
Lori Grow
"Our 5-year-old is a strong, smart, and confident girl! She loves Legos, Star Wars, bike riding and skateboarding, but still also enjoys playing dolls, dress-up, and the color pink! She adores building, creating, and using her wild imagination when playing with Legos. She takes pride in completing sets 'all by herself' in addition to coming up with new, creative ideas." (Dress by PDP Studio on Etsy.)
Sacha Coutu
"Girls like building robots and coding, too!"
Lisa Zawada
"My daughter is 5 and loves anything that has to do with outer space: 'Star Wars,' rocket ships, etc. She loves superheroes and has no interest in dolls or princesses. When she grows up she wants to be an astronaut and a police officer."
Elise Schreier
"This kid rocks a vest like it's her job!"
Sylvia Spence Blair
"My daughter had to be Iron Man for Halloween. She didn't want frill or tutus or anything else because Iron Man doesn't have them."
Amy Williams
"My 4-year-old daughter defies gender stereotypes because she is agentic, confidently expresses her ideas and thoughts, and as her preschool teacher identified, she is both 'tough and strong.' She's the kid who relentlessly asks to go to the 'Body Worlds: Pulse' exhibit she sees on banners on the way to preschool (and who asks to return after visiting the exhibit). She loves all things Halloween and spooky, and is always up for an adventure, like kid friendly bungee jumping. When she has a project that is too easy, she says, 'Mama, I need a more challenging (x).' She is willing to stand out when conforming may be easier. She's setting a powerful example for her baby sister, and other girls and boys. Simply put, she's our amazing stereotype-defier!"
Jacci Thompson
"My strong girls at their last karate tournament. My youngest leads her class and my oldest helps teach weapons. So proud of them!"
Kathryn Daniel
"My daughter is a 'princess who can save herself!'"
Kaitlyn Marchand
"This is my daughter. She was 10 at the time of this photo, taken last December. We live in a VERY small town, less than 1,000 people, in the Midwest and it took a bunch of courage for her to cut her hair like this. She caught a bunch of flack for it at school and from family. Most was from my dad and it makes me really sad, but I'm so proud of her for being so independent and marching to the beat of her own drum. I was not excited about her cutting her hair this way but I wasn't about to stomp all over her freedom of expression!"
Natasha Brown
"There are women golfers, but there aren't many African-American women golfers and I'm proud of her for giving it a go!"
Brooke Cannon Poindexter
"She's smart and determined. She doesn't back down."
Kaitlin Pearl Coghill
"My 2-year-old likes to build things with her Papa."
Heather Pagliarini
"This is my daughter. She is 4 years old and her interests include everything scaly or creepy! She particularly loves her lizard Pascal who is a 1-year-old bearded dragon. She loves sharing him with people, but most of her little girl friends are less than enthused."
M. Flash Clark
"My 15-year-old daughter jams a mean long-scale bass, ukulele and guitar. She enjoys playing with makeup, being an ally for underrepresented minorities and learning Iron Maiden songs."
Emma Block
"Mad scientist in the making!"
Martha Edwards Beard
"My short hair-wearing, baseball-playing, 'Star Wars'-loving, math and science smarty pants, fierce, beautiful and all-around fantastic oldest daughter!"
Heather Videon
"My 7-year-old at a peaceful protest because she will not be quiet!"
Gaynor Kitcher
"My 6-year-old girl who loves slithery reptiles with a passion and thought this python encounter was the best thing ever!"
Nancy Schmidt
"My 10-year-old daughter; she's all about anything with a motor."
Verity Di Francesco
"Here's my little girl. Five years old and obsessed with bugs of all kinds. She especially likes spiders and will care for the spiders she finds at home."
Catie Meier
"Here's our 11-year-old daughter getting down and dirty during softball practice this year."
Court Farber
"Adrenaline junkie 3-year-old. Born with a rare heart defect and a need for speed. Prefers Mickey over Minnie, and wants Daddy to repaint her dirt bike red."
Chrissy Gibson
"One of my favorite photos of my 5-year-old daughter. She enjoys (pretend) samurai swords and dressing up as superheroes and wants to be a pilot one day. She was born with a few congenital heart defects and has a midline scar on her chest from open heart surgery that she is very proud of. Nothing stops her from kicking butt."
Rania Ghani
"This is from last year when my daughter played defensive end. This year she's in the running for quarterback on her middle school football team. She's persisted and put in more effort than I would ever have expected from a 12-year-old girl and hopefully it will pay off and get her the position she wants."
Christina Vandermeer-Walker
"My daughter plays competitive hockey for her town. She is defense and loves it. She really enjoys her summer league as well when she mixes it up with the boys."
Alison Jones
"My 11-year-old panda-obsessed, bookworm daughter has been weight lifting for over a year now. She's not sporty, but she loves being strong."
Danielle Roberto
"Not actually welding in the picture itself, but she loves being out in the garage with her father (a mechanic) working on anything he will let her help with."
Jessica Augsburger
"My 8-year-daughter teaching herself how to code with Scratch."
Laura Kine
"My 5-year-old daughter; confident, capable and competitive. Hockey is her favorite sport and she always gives it all. She has what it takes to keep up with and challenge the boys she plays with. Watching her play is one of my favorite things to do. It is amazing to see a child thrive when they find their passion."
Jennifer Bailey
"Loves to fish with Daddy."
Sara Carter
"Girly girl who loves her dresses and princesses, but also can beat anyone in a lightsaber duel!"
Magda Salazar Wallace
"My 7-year-old doing a high rope course without support. Mommy is a bit afraid, but she's fearless."
Catherine Mandras
"My 11-year-old daughter. Two other boys tried before her to make it to the top, but couldn't. She made it."
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